Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Interview with Illustrator Rosemarie Gillen

Shari: Rosemarie, please tell my readers about yourself.

Rosemarie: I live in the panhandle of West Virginia with my 8 year old son Connor, my husband Bob, and our Collie, Riley. We are surrounded by farmland and a mountain range.

Shari: Your illustrations are so cute and kid friendly. How long have you been doing this professionally?

Rosemarie: Thank you. I have been a freelance professional illustrator for 4 years. I did my first picture book, "Tyler and the Spider" for a self publishing author. It was exciting to have my first paying illustrating assignment. It taught me how to work one on one with an author. And I finally got to utilize all the techniques I had learned in developing a picture book.

Shari: Do you only illustrate children’s books or do you also sell other kinds of art?

Rosemarie: Yes in my spare time, I paint reproductions of Great Masters which have been hung in Art Galleries in several states.

Shari: You are also an author. How long have you been writing? Which came first?

Rosemarie: As a child I would sit for hours painting and drawing so illustrating came first. About two years ago, I began to write for children. My son is a great source of inspiration in my writing .

Shari: What books have you illustrated? Author/illustrated?

Rosemarie: I illustrated a picture book for Living Waters Publishers called, "Where Is God, Grandfather?". I wrote/illustrated an e-book called, "Sometimes I Am" for Synergebooks. It is an e-book picture book which tells of a day in a child’s life and all the ups and downs a child can experience. And I have also illustrated several picture books for self publishing authors

Shari: What are you working on now?

Rosemarie: Right now, I am working on my second book picture book called, "Anything Is Possible". I am in the middle of creating the dummy book. It is a picture book about how you can do anything if only you try.

Shari: I don’t know much about illustrating. Will you tell us how you work? Do you work on the computer or with watercolors, oils, acrylics?

Rosemarie: Sure, I hand draw my sketches first with pencil and then scan it into Photoshop where I make adjustments and begin the coloring process.

Shari: I am always interested in hearing about an artists workspace. Do you have a studio? Will you tell us about it?

Rosemarie: At this point in time, I am working out of a spare room in my home. I am surrounded by bookshelves filled with all types of books from art to children literature . My walls are lined with the framed covers of picture books I have illustrated. I have a computer and wacom tablet sitting on my drafting table which is in front of a french door with a great view of a mountain range.

Shari: What would readers be surprised to learn about you?

Rosemarie: They would be surprised to learn that I am the mom who hangs with the neighborhood kids after school. My son and I met up with his friends who range from ages five to nine . We ride scooters, bikes, have foot races, and just sit around and talk and tell stories. It is great fun.
Shari: Where can readers learn more about you? Website, etc?

Rosemarie: My web site can be viewed at I am also a part of the The Visual Storytellers Studio ( VSS ) group for illustrators which is a virtual online gallery consisting of 30+ of the best illustrators in the nation and I am in a professional private blog for writers titled the Yellow Brick Road.


Margot Finke said...

Shari, interesting interview of artist/writer Rosemarie.

I so envy her drawing talent. I am an absolute dud at drawing!!

Margot Finke

Critiques - Writing Help - Books:

Joy said...

Thanks for sharing Shari and Rosemarie. I like your artwork.


Donna M. McDine said...

Wonderful interview. Rosemarie, don't forget to bring along a pad of paper and pen when you hang with your son and his friends. Perfect time to pick up ideas and dialogue.

Best wishes,

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...

Thank you ladies for dropping in. Rosemarie's artwork is wonderful. I'm glad you checked it out.


Cheryl said...

Excellent interview ladies. I went out to your website Rosemarie. Your illustrations are adorable. I especially love that little brown squirrel with his nut in winter.

Keep up the great work!


Anonymous said...

Awww, her illos are super-cute. Love the whimsy. I hope she goes far!